Innovation Management

Second edition

by Keith Goffin and Rick Mitchell

Chapter 8

Management recommendations

  • Use the cultural web as a diagnosis tool and apply ideas from best practice to create a real ‘culture of innovation’.
  • Choose a suitable team structure for each project.
  • Manage innovation project teams not only to obtain the maximum returns from projects but also to develop sufficient talent for driving such projects.
  • Link innovation strategy to employee development and support this with appropriate reward systems.

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Chapter summary

This chapter covered the fifth and final element of the Pentathlon – people and organization, including cultural and team issues. It stressed the strategic importance of human resources. Three levels of analysis were presented: the organization level; innovation project teams; and the employee level. Overall, the Chapter

  • Explained the research on management culture and how this can be used to help develop a ‘culture of innovation’.
  • Summarized best practices for creating an innovative working environment, while cautioning that people management practices are context dependent and are therefore difficult to transfer.
  • Described the advantages and limitations of the five main types of teams that can be used to manage innovation projects.
  • Explained the steps required to form and successfully run innovation teams, including selecting team members and managing the functional interfaces.
  • Covered the main aspects of managing individual employees, from their recruitment, to their appraisal, and the recognition of their performance. It also showed the complexity facing managers in their need to encourage motivation.

Illustrating the above points, this chapter’s main case study is about time matters, a company that has revolutionized ‘sameday’ shipments and has focused on creating the right culture to generate a constant stream of service innovation in the ‘time-critical’ logistics business.

This and the previous four chapters have proposed a wide range of tools and techniques for innovation management, relating to each of the elements of the Pentathlon. The management challenge is to boost innovation performance by coordinating the improvements across the elements of the Pentathlon and is the subject of the next chapter.

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Recommended reading

1. Bratton, J. and Gold, J., Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003). [Good text on HRM.]

2. Tushman, M. L. and Anderson, P. (eds), Managing Strategic Innovation and Change (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997). [Classic collection of readings on culture, leadership and innovation.]

3. Jelinek, M. and Schoonhoven, C. B., The Innovation Marathon: Lessons from High Technology Firms (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990). [Interesting study.]

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Learning objectives

  1. To explain how organizational cultures can impact innovation both positively and negatively.
  2. To understand how the formal organization can be used to support innovation.
  3. To discuss what is known about the influence of reward and recognition on innovation performance.

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Multimedia material

  • The Belbin video - Building the Perfect Team - available from is very useful.
  • The Deep Dive video of the IDEO product design company is excellent. It is available from

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